Misuse of Terms Such As “Traditional Families” by Christians – Re: Kirk Cameron, Homosexual Marriage, and the 2014 Grammys
I don’t agree with homosexuality – I don’t regard it as moral or normal behavior – but, I find that many right wing Christians incorrectly equate the legalization of homosexual marriage, or homosexuality itself, to “an attack on family values” or “an attack on traditional families.”
The Bible, however, seems to define homosexuality, and other types of sexual sin, as being sins against God and one’s own body (ie, as in this verse directed at followers of Christ: (Link): 1 Corinthians 6:12-18) – and not as being against family or culture.
A night or two ago, the 2014 Grammys were televised. I did not watch it because awards shows are boring, but I did see a few articles about the show today. A mass hetero- and homo- sexual wedding ceremony was held on that program.
You can read more about it later, here:
(Link): Grammys 2014: Rush Limbaugh, conservative pundits angered by same-sex marriages during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performance (off site link)
Remember, I wrote in a previous post how Christians misuse and misapply terms such as “family values”:
(Link): The Term “Family Values” And Its Use By Christians – Vis A Vis story: Grandma Gives Teen Granddaughter a Vibrator.
There is a conflation by evangelicals, Reformed, Baptists, and fundamentalists of the terms or concepts of “family values” and “biblical values.”
I posit that biblical values are not necessarily the same thing as family values.
Right wing, socially conservative Christians tend to measure lifestyle choices and behaviors not necessarily by what the Bible teaches, but what they assume it teaches, or by American cultural norms.
In other words, I find it suspect, troubling, and strange that while these sorts of Christians would no doubt consider themselves “sola scriptura,” that rather than appeal to Scripture to explain why they consider homosexuality or homosexual marriage wrong, they will usually appeal to language such as “family values” or “attacks on traditional families” or “attack on traditional marriage.”
Is homosexuality a sin against God, and does it go against what God has said of homosexuality in the Bible, and should Christians oppose it on those grounds, or should Christians really be running around on blogs and radio shows saying they object to homosexuality on the basis that it does not jibe with their view on what constitutes “family values” or “traditional families,” or that it makes for uncomfortable, prime-time television viewing?
Many right wing, socially conservative, evangelical, Baptist, fundamentalist, and Reformed Christians hold the American, 1950s nuclear family up as the criteria by which to judge changes in society – such as the gaining acceptance of homosexual marriage – rather than holding up the Bible (which purports to tell humanity what God thinks about various topics) as the point of reference.
I consider this tendency by Christians to use phrases such as “traditional family” and “family values” as another indication of how some Christians have turned family, parenting, pro-creating, and marriage into idols- and which the Bible forbids.
If you are going to protest homosexuality or homosexual marriage, and you are a Christian, I would hope you would use the Bible as your grounds for engagement, not “traditional families” rhetoric.
The Bible does not define “traditional family” as being one mom, one dad, and children.
The Bible does not define “traditional family” as being two married lesbians who are raising three kids, or as an uncle raising a nephew.
The Bible does not define a grandma and grandpa who have four grandchildren living with them as being a family, or what God considers the only acceptable expression of a family unit.
There are some cultures, such as in Latin America, where it is normal for three or more generations of flesh and blood relations to live under the same roof.
The Bible has nothing to say about the topic of what defines a family for all people of all cultures and time periods.
The patriarchs and other males in the Bible, the Abrahams, Noahs, Solomons, and King Davids, had three or more wives and ten or more children apiece. I don’t see many Christians, outside of Quiverfull or Reconstructionist- type kooks, who advocate that Christians today revert to having patriarchal family structures.
The Bible does seem to define or understand marriage – as God intended it to be – between one man and one woman, but that is the extent of it (see (Link): Matthew 19:1-9).
The Scriptures do not go on and limit the term or concept of “family” to mean only or even primarily, a man, woman, with children, it only says that a marriage is tantamount to one man married to one woman.
What the Bible does discuss is that God considers sex outside of marriage as being sinful, but it nowhere dictates what God considers an acceptable configuration of adults and children as being a “family.”
If you are a Christian, your priority in life is not the “traditional family.”
Of course, if you are a Christian, you should provide for your family members (1 Timothy 5:8), but if one of your main motivators in life is defending what you consider “traditional families” from societal changes or homosexual lobbies or homosexual special interest groups, that may be an indication that you have turned the “traditional family” into an idol.
Jesus Christ did not die on the cross to defend “traditional families,” “family values” or “traditional marriage.”
The Apostle Paul did not instruct the new converts in pagan Greek cities he ministered to to rise up and challenge the ungodly climate of their host cities, but to go about their lives quietly, helping each other, and spreading the Gospel message.
Christians such as actor Kirk Cameron, who bloviate about “family” constantly, keep forgetting that there are Christians who are over the age of 30 and older, who have never married, who have no living relatives left to turn to, or they are widowed and childless; they don’t have a “traditional family” to provide them with emotional support or financial help.
Christians constantly complaining that “traditional families” are being attacked by liberals, feminists, or homosexuals keep maintaining this illusion, which is not biblical, that all Christians have a spouse and children to lean on, or that they should.
The Bible upholds being single or childless by choice – or circumstance – as being acceptable to God; God does not “look down his nose” at singles or the childless and deem them “less Christian” or less worthy of help, time, and financial support.
Why do I never see the Kirk Camerons, the evangelicals, fundamentalists, and Reformed Christians, discuss how, say, homosexual marriage may negatively be impacting “Singles Values,” the un-married Christian celibates?
I’ve seen only a very small number of Christian writers discuss how the cultural acceptance of homosexuality has influenced Christian, adult singles, such as:
- (hosted on “Christianity Today”), by Katelyn Beaty
- “How marriage-happy churches are unwittingly fueling same-sex coupling—and leaving (hetero) singles like me in the dust.”
And I’ve weighed in the topic in blog posts such as:
Why do Cameron and his ilk only express concern over how homosexuality, and other phenomenon, may be impacting “families” and “marriages?” Does he and those like him not care how cultural trends shape or influence un-married Christians over the age of 30?
An atheist blogger wrote a post about former atheist now turned Christian, actor Kirk Cameron, and his comments about the 2014 Grammys:
(Link): Kirk Cameron: The Grammys Were An ‘Assault on the Traditional Family’… Now Buy My Movie!
- January 27, 2014 By Hemant Mehta
- Kirk Cameron, Protector of the Family, Defender of the Faith, and Speaker of the Bullshit, took to Facebook today to announce that the mass-wedding at last night’s Grammy Awards during Macklemore and Ryan Lewis‘ performance of the pro-LGBT song “Same Love” was an “all out assault on the traditional family.”
Most everyone – the atheists, homosexual marriage supporters, and the emergent, liberal, ex Christians, are hopping angry over Cameron’s disapproval of homosexual marriage, but what escapes the attention of all these critics is Cameron’s improper, unbiblical fixation on elevating marriage and family to a sphere that even the Bible does not do.
On (Link): that page, the blogger provides a screen capture of Cameron’s Facebook page comments.
What Cameron said in part was:
- How did you like the Grammy’s all out assault on the traditional family last night?
- As a husband and a father, I am proud to announce the release of my new family movie, MERCY RULE. Last night, the lines were drawn thick and dark.
- Now more than ever, we must work together to create the world we want for our children.
- [omit rest of his comment]
While all the atheists and others are spazzing out over Cameron not being cool with homosexual marriage, I instead note his fixation on flesh and blood family.
Cameron did not simply say, “As a Christian, I am…”
He prefaced one of his comments by saying, “As a husband and a father, I am….”
Why did Cameron find it relevant to mention that he is a “husband and father” when introducing his movie?
Why does he seemingly feel that one has to be a parent and spouse to support, believe in, or live by, biblical values?
Look at this other line by Cameron:
- Now more than ever, we must work together to create the world we want for our children.
I am over 40 years of age, have never married, and have never had any children. I am very put off that so many Christians make these assumptions that any and all other Christians are also married with children.
There seems to me to be something wrong with a Christian apologetic mindset that predicates and presupposes flesh- and- blood family so much and so often.
When the Apostle Paul – who never married or had children – talked to un-believers, he said that he preached “Christ and Him crucified,” and not, “My God, man, think of your children and mine! What about family values?”
When Paul and other New Testament writers talked about sexual sin, they did not appeal to “family values.”
The biblical writers instead got into other arguments, about God’s intention for creating sex, and how, who, and when, and if, people should have sex, and so forth.
No where did Paul or the other biblical writers say,
“Do not have pre-marital sex, commit adultery, or homosexual acts, because FAMILY VALUES!!!1111!!! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!111!!!!11!!”
Are there consequences for a society, for the 1950s nuclear family model, and to people’s emotional and physical health, in regards to sexual behavior and rampant sexual sin across culture and in popular entertainment?
Yes, there can be, and there has been, I suppose.
But the Bible does not use “family values,” “our children’s future,” or “traditional family” as supporting arguments to convince people to drop sexual sin.
I don’t know if I am totally against the use of phrases such as “family values” or “traditional families” (and similar ones) per se (you may find me slipping and using them myself from time to time so ingrained are they in my Baptist and evangelical upbringing), but I am concerned that idolization of marriage and family by evangelical Christianity runs so deep that these phrases, or the very things themselves, are being held up as the norm, the standard, or measuring rod for culture and morals, rather than the God and Bible they claim to believe in.
January 30, 2014 update:
Huffington Post (a left wing site) published this:
(Link): Kirk Cameron Thinks Grammys’ Gay Marriages Were An ‘Assault On The Traditional Family’
- The post [by Cameron] was, undoubtedly, a means of self-promotion for the 43-year-old’s newest flick, “Mercy Rule,” which co-stars his wife and is apparently about “family, faith and baseball.” Self-promotion drenched in homophobia, that is.
Other media mentioned Cameron’s Facebook comments, such as:
Cameron’s problem is not ‘homophobia’ – it’s family idolatry.
Related posts this blog:
IIRC, Kirk Cameron has rubbed shoulders with the kooks of the patriarchy movement; perhaps he is not aware of some of their unbiblical, extreme views about marriage, being childless, single, etc:
(Link): Christian Patriarchy Group: God Demands You Marry and Have Babies to Defeat Paganism and Satan. Singles and the Childless Worthless (in this worldview).
44% of the U.S., adult population is now single [update, Nov 2014: this figure is now over 50%, see this post] – and many are childless (including some married couples) – and churches are not ministering to these groups (as they should be doing), but continue to bash them for being single and childless
(some Christian single women wanted to marry, but there were no Christian men their age for them to marry):
(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings
(Link): Homosexual Father Arrested for Raping His Nine Year Old Son, Filming it For Perverted Friends, Lets Friend Rape His Kid, Resulting in Kid Getting STD – Parenthood Does Not Make People More Godly or Mature